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  #1  
Old 11-05-2019, 08:20 AM
GNfromTN GNfromTN is offline
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Age: 59
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Firearms Instructor Training

I am planning on retiring from my job next August (after 31 years). Time to change things up a bit! I would like to get certified as a Firearms Instructor.
I am a Vet and have had firearms training as well as carried in the service. I am an avid shooter and am a member of an awesome range. I am attending Gunsite Academy's 250 Pistol class in 3 weeks in Arizona. I will also be taking the NRA's Firearm Instructor class when I get back. My Dad was a State Trooper so I have been around guns, respect guns/gun safety my whole life.
Any other classes, information, or recommendations that I should pursue to become an instructor?

Thanks in Advance for any input.

Gary
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United States Navy Submarine Service, 1979-1986. Pearl Harbor, HI and Groton, CT.
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  #2  
Old 11-05-2019, 08:35 AM
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Grandpas50AE Grandpas50AE is offline
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Location: Waxahachie, Tx.
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As an instructor, my personal belief is that it is beneficial to always take training with other instructors; always something to learn, whether it is techniques in shooting, gun handling, or instructing. Some of the best instructors I've taken multiple classes from are Ken Hackathorn (retired now and not giving classes anymore), Rob Leatham, Larry Vickers, Bill Wilson, and on my "next" list is Ernie Langdon, Mike Seeklander, and Paul Howe. There are plenty of good ones like the Gunsite class you've signed up for, and Thunder Ranch, so look at the ones that have good reputations in the business. I always learn something new with each of them.
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Roger - Life GOA, CCRKBA, TSRA, VCDL
NRA Benefactor - Certs -Chief RSO; Instructor - Basic Pistol (D.E.), Rifle, Shotgun, PPIH, PPOH

Army M.P. 1971 - 1972
Wilsons: Several; Kimbers: 10mm (Wilsonized), .38S (Wilson barrel)
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  #3  
Old 11-06-2019, 03:44 PM
HoraceSwaby HoraceSwaby is offline
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Tom Givens has an instructor program, I'd look into that.

I'd also suggest training with everyone Grandpa50AE mentioned.

Shoot local IDPA and USPSA matches to improve your skills.

Don't use these cliché sayings :

*Slow is smooth, smooth is fast.
*Fine vs gross motorskills
*Combat accuracy
*Center mass
*There's no timers in a gunfight
*Paper doesn't shoot back
*Competition will get you killed in the streets
*knockdown power

Be able to get a decent score on these common shooting drills (cuz nobody wants a teacher who can't do what they're teaching)

*Bill Drill
*Vickers Test
*Todd Green FAST test
*FBI Bullseye
*Dot Torture
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  #4  
Old 11-06-2019, 05:39 PM
GNfromTN GNfromTN is offline
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Thank you both for the great info.
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United States Navy Submarine Service, 1979-1986. Pearl Harbor, HI and Groton, CT.
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  #5  
Old 02-18-2020, 12:58 AM
pogo123 pogo123 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GNfromTN View Post
I am planning on retiring from my job next August (after 31 years). Time to change things up a bit! I would like to get certified as a Firearms Instructor.
I am a Vet and have had firearms training as well as carried in the service. I am an avid shooter and am a member of an awesome range. I am attending Gunsite Academy's 250 Pistol class in 3 weeks in Arizona. I will also be taking the NRA's Firearm Instructor class when I get back. My Dad was a State Trooper so I have been around guns, respect guns/gun safety my whole life.
Any other classes, information, or recommendations that I should pursue to become an instructor?

Thanks in Advance for any input.

Gary
First of all, thank you for your service.

In the words of my gun instructor/mentor "you can make a small fortune as a firearms instructor . . . if you start with a large one". That's 'where I've been' the last couple of years.

Get certified as an NRA instructor, then ally yourself with a local range that offers instruction. Then work with another experienced instructor there to learn the ropes - so to speak.
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  #6  
Old 02-18-2020, 02:16 PM
GunBugBit GunBugBit is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GNfromTN View Post
I am planning on retiring from my job next August (after 31 years). Time to change things up a bit! I would like to get certified as a Firearms Instructor.
I am a Vet and have had firearms training as well as carried in the service. I am an avid shooter and am a member of an awesome range. I am attending Gunsite Academy's 250 Pistol class in 3 weeks in Arizona. I will also be taking the NRA's Firearm Instructor class when I get back. My Dad was a State Trooper so I have been around guns, respect guns/gun safety my whole life.
Any other classes, information, or recommendations that I should pursue to become an instructor?

Thanks in Advance for any input.

Gary
The track you're on sounds good.

I would say: compete.

If military and law enforcement training elements are important to you, compete with other current or retired military and/or law enforcement competitors. They are out there and all the ones I've shot with are good, practical guys. A blend of skills from that point of view plus from those who passionately pursue raw shooting skill will be a great foundation for becoming a respected instructor.
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  #7  
Old 02-18-2020, 04:09 PM
jjfitch jjfitch is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Pacific Northwest
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My background is similar to yours except I've competed at local, state and national levels in rifle, shotgun and pistol competition since the 60's.

I'm certified as a POST (LEO) instructor and in almost all the NRA Certifications and participated in NRA training classes for several years at our club. None of the other trainers had any experience beyond their NRA training. I found it very frustrating listening to so many ill conceived training and hands on instruction.

I found my niche in seeking out professional women looking for training. Many did not want to learn this skill in a group setting and preferred one on one.

I use training material that follows closely other training found on the internet. I started with my own outline, which is what I teach from but it's backed up by detailed syllabus. I set up the training for 5, 2 hour sessions. Each session involved about 60-90 minutes of classroom and 30-60 minutes of range time. 60 minutes of range is like a marathon to new shooters!

Trainees get their copy of the outline and syllabus for reference. I also refer trainees to videos found on YouTube by well known instructors. Be sure vid's mirror what you are teaching for credibility.

I also have a dedicated inventory of training guns and "blue" guns.

I started out charging $25 an hour and ended up at $35. You will want your own insurance unless you're covered by your club or the NRA.

I did this for about 10 years until the club turned into a knitting society and lost it's compass!

Good luck with your endeavor,
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John, Retired LEO, CA POST Certified Firearms Instructor, NRA Endmt., NRA Instructor, NRA RSO, Blue Lives Matter
Gun Control: Acquire target, align sights, press trigger, only after you have identified your target and what is beyond it and made the decision to shoot!

Last edited by jjfitch; 02-18-2020 at 04:12 PM.
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  #8  
Old 02-19-2020, 06:31 AM
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Grandpas50AE Grandpas50AE is offline
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Just to add to what jjfitch said, I consider the NRA Instructor certifications as a STARTING point, and there is much to learn after that to become a good quality instructor.
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Roger - Life GOA, CCRKBA, TSRA, VCDL
NRA Benefactor - Certs -Chief RSO; Instructor - Basic Pistol (D.E.), Rifle, Shotgun, PPIH, PPOH

Army M.P. 1971 - 1972
Wilsons: Several; Kimbers: 10mm (Wilsonized), .38S (Wilson barrel)
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  #9  
Old 02-20-2020, 04:22 PM
wccountryboy wccountryboy is offline
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First, full disclosure- I'm a training/ teaching "snob"... I've taught, on and off, both informally and formally, for 30 years in Army SOF. For the last 6 years, I've been a Senior Instructor, Course Writer, Chief Instructor, Senior Military Science Instructor, Training Developer, Evaluating Instructor, and Instructor/ Leader at the Special Warfare Center and School at FT Bragg. I teach everything from physical skills to human dynamics and engagement to graduate-level academics. Over the last 6 years, I've probably received 600+ hours of instruction on learning to teach.... Countless hours prior to that over the years... The purpose of the above isn't to boast, but to create an understanding of my perspective, and why I take the subject of training/ teaching so seriously.

It takes more than a mastery of a skill or subject matter to be able to transfer that skill or knowledge to another. There are multi methods to do so, and some work better than others- depending on the skill or knowledge, and the student base. One needs to have a full magazine (cheesy pun intended) of methodology available. A solid understanding of learning styles and domains of learning, and how to apply them. Determining which styles apply to your individual students.... Mastering all of the different styles, and knowing the advantages and limitations of each... for example, at what point (how much time) does a straight lecture block of instruction reach a catastrophic failure point for comprehension and retention of the material?

Training development and educational design is completely different, though related, skill set. Far too many cobble together some .pptx slides, maybe a handout, or walk through a physical skill and throw in a couple of off the rack "drills", and call it "training". They fail to understand the process of getting a students from zero to successful- and usually don't have a defined standard of what success is. Creating a POI and ISAP is a time consuming process, and rarely a solo activity. Breaking the material into blocks or modules, that build upon each other, specifying action, condition, and standards, identifying and articulating performance steps and sequence.... its a weird combination of science, art, and a little voodoo... identifying and incorporating the more abstract abilities that one is trying to develop- things students should be doing, but aren't specified in the instruction.

Language means something- "test", "evaluate", and "assess" are not synonymous. Verbiage used in teaching materials is critical to a quality product.

Having quantifiable standards is difficult, particularly in fee-for service instruction. Rudimentary laws of probability dictate that, given clear standards and expectations, not everyone will be a first time "go". A consistent, 100% pass rate suggests either poor training, or low standards. Development of a quality rubric to quantify subject student output or performance is another dark art....

Far too many firearms or shooting "instructors" are mediocre at best, and flat dangerous at worst. Students leave with a "certificate" worth less than the paper its printed on, and go out into the world thinking that they're "trained".... as Grandpa50AE stated, NRA "instructor qualifications" are just the very beginning, and (unless something has changed recently) so rudimentary as to be of almost no real value for instructor development. Its early grammar school at best. They're accepted only because the community and industry has steadfastly refused to develop a better quality product.

Embroidery is cheap, and "Instructor " polos and ball caps are reading available....

I could pontificating for hours on the subject, but the wavetops will do.
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I must study politics and war, that our sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. Our sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history and naval architecture, navigation, commerce and agriculture in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry and porcelain. ~ John Adams
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  #10  
Old 02-21-2020, 12:46 PM
BBBBill BBBBill is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Alabama and Florida, US
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wccountryboy View Post
First, full disclosure- I'm a training/ teaching "snob"... I've taught, on and off, both informally and formally, for 30 years in Army SOF. For the last 6 years, I've been a Senior Instructor, Course Writer, Chief Instructor, Senior Military Science Instructor, Training Developer, Evaluating Instructor, and Instructor/ Leader at the Special Warfare Center and School at FT Bragg. I teach everything from physical skills to human dynamics and engagement to graduate-level academics. Over the last 6 years, I've probably received 600+ hours of instruction on learning to teach.... Countless hours prior to that over the years... The purpose of the above isn't to boast, but to create an understanding of my perspective, and why I take the subject of training/ teaching so seriously.

It takes more than a mastery of a skill or subject matter to be able to transfer that skill or knowledge to another. There are multi methods to do so, and some work better than others- depending on the skill or knowledge, and the student base. One needs to have a full magazine (cheesy pun intended) of methodology available. A solid understanding of learning styles and domains of learning, and how to apply them. Determining which styles apply to your individual students.... Mastering all of the different styles, and knowing the advantages and limitations of each... for example, at what point (how much time) does a straight lecture block of instruction reach a catastrophic failure point for comprehension and retention of the material?

Training development and educational design is completely different, though related, skill set. Far too many cobble together some .pptx slides, maybe a handout, or walk through a physical skill and throw in a couple of off the rack "drills", and call it "training". They fail to understand the process of getting a students from zero to successful- and usually don't have a defined standard of what success is. Creating a POI and ISAP is a time consuming process, and rarely a solo activity. Breaking the material into blocks or modules, that build upon each other, specifying action, condition, and standards, identifying and articulating performance steps and sequence.... its a weird combination of science, art, and a little voodoo... identifying and incorporating the more abstract abilities that one is trying to develop- things students should be doing, but aren't specified in the instruction.

Language means something- "test", "evaluate", and "assess" are not synonymous. Verbiage used in teaching materials is critical to a quality product.

Having quantifiable standards is difficult, particularly in fee-for service instruction. Rudimentary laws of probability dictate that, given clear standards and expectations, not everyone will be a first time "go". A consistent, 100% pass rate suggests either poor training, or low standards. Development of a quality rubric to quantify subject student output or performance is another dark art....

Far too many firearms or shooting "instructors" are mediocre at best, and flat dangerous at worst. Students leave with a "certificate" worth less than the paper its printed on, and go out into the world thinking that they're "trained".... as Grandpa50AE stated, NRA "instructor qualifications" are just the very beginning, and (unless something has changed recently) so rudimentary as to be of almost no real value for instructor development. Its early grammar school at best. They're accepted only because the community and industry has steadfastly refused to develop a better quality product.

Embroidery is cheap, and "Instructor " polos and ball caps are reading available....

I could pontificating for hours on the subject, but the wavetops will do.
^^^ Very well stated. Makes me wish that I were still in and able to attend some of your classes. Unfortunately you put out to pasture after age 60...
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